Obama: NY Times readers, Fox News viewers live in ‘an entirely different reality’

Former President Obama said late Tuesday that the current media environment no longer allows Americans “to agree on a common set of facts,” adding that Fox News viewers and New York Times readers live in “an entirely different reality” from each other.

“In 1981, your news cycle was still governed by the stories that were going to be filed by the AP, Washington Post, maybe New York Times, and the three broadcast stations,” Obama said at an event marking the 25th anniversary of Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston. “Whether people got their news from Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley, they tended to agree on a common set of facts. That set a baseline around which both parties had to adapt and respond to.”

{mosads}“By the time I take office,” Obama continued, “what you increasingly have is a media environment in which, if you are a Fox News viewer, you have an entirely different reality than if you are a New York Times reader.”

The comments echo what Obama said at an event in at the City College in New York earlier this year.

“If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR,” he said in January.

A recent Politico–Morning Consult poll found 64 percent of respondents said the media has done more to divide the country than united it. Just 17 percent said it has done more to unite the U.S. By comparison, 56 percent of those surveyed say President Trump has done more to divide the country.

Obama often attacked Fox News in interviews during his two terms in office, once referring to it as a “fun-house mirror” for information.

“Look, if I watched Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me either,” Obama told HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher in 2016. “You’ve got this screen, this fun-house mirror through which people are receiving information. How to break through that is a big challenge.”

Obama also often boxed out Fox News in press conferences. In his first 36 solo press conferences, for example, he called on Fox 14 times compared to 29 times for ABC and 28 and 26 times for CBS and NBC, respectively.

Obama during his remarks late Tuesday also repeated a jab at Trump that he used while stumping for Democrats in the midterm elections, saying no one in his administration “came close to being indicted.”

“Not only did I not get indicted, nobody in my administration got indicted, which, by the way, was the only administration in modern history that can be said about. In fact nobody came close to being indicted. Partly because the people who joined us were there for the right reasons.”

Tags Donald Trump
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video